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Managing Trade Risk

Risk Management concentrates on identifying and controlling events that have the potential to cause significant problems. In Customs trade terms, that means identifying imports that represent the greatest risk of noncompliance so that we can focus our resources in those areas. The key to Risk Management is to systematically isolate and treat risk identified throughout the Trade Compliance Process.

Q: Is Risk Management a new program? What does it do?
A: Risk Management does not create any new work, but rather combines existing programs to maximize resources. Risk Management requires clear responsibility and accountability for each program or action. Some of the programs that are currently being used to manage risk include Compliance Measurement, Compliance Assessment, Selectivity, and Account Management. Risk Management also shows field personnel how their work affects the work of the agency.

Q: How is Risk Management achieved in U.S. Customs and Border Protection?
A: This is done using a four-step process:
  1. Collect Data and Information:
    Proper Risk Management requires a structured approach to collecting data.

  2. Analyze and Assess Risk:
    Analyze the data and determine the likelihood of noncompliance.

  3. Prescribe Action:
    Once the potential risk has been identified and analyzed, it is time to design the appropriate action and dedicate the necessary resources.

  4. Track and Report:
    Once the appropriate action is designed, ownership for the action must be assigned and its results tracked and fed back into the Risk Management process.